Q: What do Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and many cardiovascular illnesses have in common?
A: You can lower your risk for all of them by regular daily exercise.
“Whoa, what do you mean by ‘exercise’?”
Don’t be scared: you don’t need to spend four hours every day in the gym with a complicated workout plan. “Exercise” can be just about anything. A ten-minute walk over level terrain is exercise. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is exercise. Any physical activity that raises your heart rate — even a little bit for a short amount of time — is exercise.
“What kind of special equipment am I going to need to buy?”
None. A fitness plan doesn’t necessarily need to include weights and machines and wearable gadgets. Bodyweight programs, such as PiYo training, don’t include weights at all — all the resistance is created by the weight of your own body, through things like pushups, planks, and plyometrics (a fancy word for jumping).
“I’m a busy woman. Do I need to block out all kinds of time in my schedule?”
Not at all. The CDC recommends about 30 minutes of just moderate-intensity exercise every day. You can take a walk while listening to your favorite morning podcast. You can do jumping jacks while your coffee cools (if you don’t care what your coworkers think). The average PiYo training video training time is half an hour, with the shortest video at about 20 minutes.
“No, seriously, I’m really busy. I don’t even have 30 minutes a day to exercise.”
Your daily 30-minute workout doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can break it up into three ten-minute sessions (or even smaller sessions if you have to), as long as you raise your heart rate. You can pack in more exercise in less time by increasing the intensity level. You can substitute one minute of vigorous-intensity activity for two minutes of moderate-intensity activity in order to meet your quota.
“How can I gauge my intensity level?”
You can use the Talking Test. Do your activity, and if you can’t sing a song without needing to take a breath, but you can talk normally, then your intensity level was “moderate”. If you can’t speak more than a few words without needing to take a breath, your activity level was “vigorous”. Routines like PiYo training will generally let you know the activity level of each workout.
“I’m in no shape to exercise!”
Sadly, over 95% of adults believe this, and are not getting the physical activity their bodies require. But it’s simply not true. Your exercise needs and abilities are as individual as your fingerprints. For instance, if you’re embarking on a PiYo program for the very first time, you might not be able to keep up with the complete workout the entire time — and that’s okay! Listen to your body and go at your own pace.
Remember: you don’t have to be obsessed with health in order to be healthy. A half hour every day of moderate exercise can make a world of difference, and still leave you with time to enjoy life. It all starts with you.